orWine Tastings in the Comfort of you own villa or B&B while on holiday in Tuscany or Liguria

To book an informative and fun wine tasting whilst holidaying in Italy or arrange for a wild food walk in your area contact me on tuscanytipple at libero dot it or check out my Facebook page

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Friday, 4 February 2011

Life Is Good!

When I started blogging I did it as a way of keeping in contact with existing friends and family, as a note to self and maybe, quite possibly come across some like-minded people who might find my ramblings useful or have some useful advice to give to me, because, quite frankly, I had no idea what I was doing when I started on my path to self sufficiency.  So the last thing I was expecting was to make new friends via this medium let alone find new additions to my family.  

But that is just what has happened!  Not only have I made some great friends, some of whom I have actually met in REAL life (non of them so far have turned out to be axe wielding psychopaths...) and I have gained a brother and sister.  So I am especcially pleased to have received an award from aforementioned sister (needless to say our brother got one too... :)).  She goes by the name of Ohiofarmgirl and she blogs about her life in an Amish village (I don't think she is Amish given her like of Tequila...) growing food, raising all sorts of livestock and hating pigs.  So thank you sooooooooooooooooooo much sis, I shall oblige with the rules of thanking you, answering a bunch of silly questions and passing it on.  

Here we go:

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing this? If you are not anonymous, do you wish that you had started out anonymously, so that you could be anonymous now?
I sometimes think I should have stayed anonymous, especcially since various authorities and banks are after me around Europe and I'm now rather easy to find.  But hey, who's worried?  I never thought this would go much beyond my original circle of friends.

2. Describe an incident that shows your inner stubborn side.
Well, the recent landslides on our land and my determination to carry on illustrates it quite nicely I think.  But another early incident in my life was when I was hitchhiking to Greece with a friend aged 18.  I refused to take a bus even for a few miles to get to a better spot to hitch a lift, preferring to remain at a dusty spot for 36 hours on the outskirts of Zagreb.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
I don't look into a mirror much, only when trimming my beard, which only happens when I start eating more hair than cream cake.  Then I see lots of hair.  I've given up going to hairdressers, because I get spooked by sitting in front of a large mirror for any length of time.

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?
There's nothing like a cold beer after a hard day's work.  If I don't have that excuse, a fresh glass of Prosecco with some olives and bruschette.

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
Reading is high up on the list.  Anything from light fiction to old classics, gardening books, philosophy.  Listening to some music is also great.  Again my taste is fairly Catholic (in the sense of all encompassing...)  I listen to anything from Bach to the Stones, a lot of weird and wonderful world music, Mongolian throat singing, Finnish folk, Blues, Jazz, you name it.  As I write this I am listing to Ojos de Brujo Flamenco.

6. Is there something that you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?
I still want to reach a greater degree of self-sufficiency.  Livestock will have to be a part of this, bees, chickens, goats, a wild boar or two...  We're also phantasising about an eco-village... And I want to meet my long lost brother and sister in the flesh.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?
I hated school from day one I hated school.  My brother (the one that I have met) taught me everything I thought I needed to no (counting to 1000 in German and English, the alphabet, who played at Woodstock and how to get into a cinema for films rated 16+), so I wasn't interested.  I went to one of the roughest schools in town, so it was best to keep your head down to avoid being head-butted.  Whenever it was safe to stick your head up though I tended to make the jokes.  If I did offend one I could always refer them to my big brother, which usually did the trick.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would you see?
When I was 5 years old going to Rotterdam City Hall with my mother (I was brought up in Germany)It was time with our constant travelling between Holland and Germany that I had my own passport.  The only question was, whether it should be a Dutch passport or a German one.  So my mother took me along to ask whether I would be drafted into the Dutch army when I was 18 if I lived outside the country..  The answer was no, thus I avoided both the German and the Dutch army draft and stayed a pacifist all my life.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
Nope, this is me as I live and breathe.

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
Read a book every time.  I find it difficult talking to people I don't see.  When I worked with deaf children many years ago in India I found that when you only have your body language available to speak, it is impossible to lie.

I would like to pass this award on to two people: Laura at the French Country Challenge who has threatened to visit me in the near future, even if she has been a bit quiet of late and Vrtlarica, with the unpronouncable name, who gardens and smokes bacon in Croatia (ps: I believe the first part of her name means garden...)

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Reinforcements have arrived

...to reinforce the terraces and repair the damage.  My cousin from Holland has been with us for almost 2 weeks now and staying for another 2 months to help with clearing up the damage caused by the landslides.  Much needed support.  So far we have built some supports such as this one:

... built an additional cold frame:

constrcuted a raised bed, which we have planted with various brassica:

Daytime temperatures have been quite spring-like and we are making good progress.  Next week the first instalment of spring sowing will get under way and things are looking a lot brighter than a month ago.